Genuine Innovations has tweaked its longstanding AirChuck model to create this AirChuck+ to address those freezing hand issues as the CO2 canister is discharged. The extra fiver over the original, or another tenner above the Ultraflate model, is hard to justify, though.
- Pros: Quick inflation, 20g canister great for larger tyres
- Cons: Pricey, head still doesn't keep your hands completely away from the canister
Last month Paul reviewed the standard AirChuck and his only real criticism was that there was no protection from the canister in use. If you haven't used an inflator before you might not be aware of how cold they get when the compressed CO2 gas is released; it's cold enough to burn your skin and even stick. It's not nice.
Unless it is a fully enclosed design like the Ultraflate, most brands supply a little foam sleeve to slip over the gas canister.
What Genuine Innovations has done here instead is to create a new head design, giving your fingers a bit of purchase while pressing it against the valve. It works pretty well, offering a decent amount of area for your fingers to grip.
Even though the spring-loaded head offers an excellent fit around Presta or Schrader valves with little pressure, I still like to use the palm of my hand to keep everything straight and secure. If you aren't wearing mitts, which is most rides for me, your hand still comes into contact with the canister.
This aside, the AirChuck+ works well at getting your tyres inflated, with no gas escaping and a solid feel on the valve.
By altering the amount of force you use to push the head onto the valve you can kind of control the flow, but you need to be quick and dexterous as you can expel the gas fully in a matter of seconds.
The AirChuck+ comes with a single 20g canister which is good for the larger tyres we are seeing on most new bikes these days. One canister will inflate a 28mm 700C tyre to 106psi or a 35mm up to 70psi for instance, and if you are riding 23mm tyres you can inflate both front and rear to 78psi.
There are a lot of inflators on the market at a real range of prices, with the AirChuck+ sitting at the upper end at £29.99. I think it's one of the better ones when it comes to location on the valve, and the overall quality looks to be very good indeed.
Is it worth the extra five quid over the standard AirChuck? I don't know really, when for me it still doesn't solve the freezing hand problem completely. Compared with the Ultraflate at £19.99, the AirChuck+ is lighter and less bulky when in your rear jersey pocket. It isn't by much, though: at 155g including a 20g canister, the Ultraflate is a mere 46g heavier.
Great-fitting inflator on a range of valves but doesn't really solve the issue of cold hands for the extra money
road.cc test report
Make and model: Genuine Innovations Air Chuck Plus CO2 Inflator
Size tested: 47.63x41.28mm
Tell us what the product is for
Genuine Innovations says, "Everything you have come to know and love with the original AirChuck, and then some! The new AirChuck+ features the same lightweight, push-to-inflate technology as its predecessor, in a more ergonomic design that keeps your hand off the cartridge. Available in Silver or Blue with a Black Comfort Grip shroud, get back on the trail quickly and look good while doing it!"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From Genuine Innovations:
Comfort Grip shroud
Easy to use and fully controllable
Works with both Presta and Schrader valves
Lifetime Warranty on inflator
If you are wearing mitts you won't freeze your hands, which is a step up from the standard model.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As far as inflation goes it's one of the better ones.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Rapid, leak-free inflation.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The palm of your hand can still touch the canister.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A decent attempt at an uprgade over the standard AirChuck but it doesn't quite deliver any real benefit for the extra money. That aside, in operation the AirChuck+ is leak-free and a secure CO2 inflator.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.